[From Fred Nickols (2005.11.14.0657 EST]
Rick Marken (2005.11.13.2150)]
>> Journalists should describe
>> behavior as they would describe a table, saying what they see (a
>> nice, mahogany table done in the French provincial style) rather than
>> what they imagine (a collection of carbon atoms arranged in a
Let's suppose that I first provide you with a list of identifying characteristics of "French provincial style" furniture. Along with that list I show you several sample pieces of furniture in the French provincial style so as to tangibly illustrate those characteristics. Then I show you several more pieces of furniture, some of which are French provincial and some of which are not, asking you to pick out those that are in the French provincial style, which you do. Moreover, you do not identify any as French provincial that are not such. Thereafter, on future occasions when you and I see pieces of furniture, we agree as to those that are in the French provincial style and those that are not. We can also point to certain identifying features of any particular piece of French provincial furniture and agree on those.
I'm willing to wager that there's something "out there" and that that something is a piece of French provincial furniture. I'd also wager that our descriptions of any given piece of such furniture are enough alike that we can agree on what it is we perceive. However, agreeing on what we perceive "out there" is not the same thing as saying we have the same perceptions "in here." Do I have that correct? If so, then here's my question: If you and I can agree on what we're perceiving "out there" then of what significance is it if our internal representations of what's out there are different? Your body chemistry, neural wiring, etc might be and probably is somewhat different from mine but I'd think they also have to be sufficiently alike or we could never reach any kind of tested (and testable) agreement about what's out there.
Fred Nickols, CPT
"Assistance at A Distance"